What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine‘s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic“, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. SEO differs from local search engine optimizationin that the latter is focused on optimizing a business’ online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when a user enters a local search for its products or services. The former instead is more focused on national or international searches.
Search engine optimization is the process of ensuring potential customers find your company’s solutions to their problems when they are having the problems and are ready to purchase products and services.
There are a lot of reasons to use search engine optimization but I believe the best return on investment is to increase the number of visitors to a company’s website and convert them into customers. I also believe the large majority of websites are very underutilized. The big e-commerce sites have it figured out and use every possible technique to appear on the first page of any search by a potential customer. It is the sites for professional services that suffer most from the lack of strategy and basic search engine optimization.
Our Focus is to Deliver Sustainable Results without the Mystery
Maybe I should have said without creating dependency. Don’t get me wrong. We are happy to continue to serve you and help meet your long-term goals. What we won’t do is to use techniques or proprietary software that your own employees can’t learn or utilize to continue your marketing efforts. Our goal is to be really good at what we do so your company will want to continue the partnership long term.
Initially, we will collaborate with you and your team to create a search engine optimization strategy that aligns with your company’s offline business strategy. Then we will explain how we are going to execute that strategy, what tools we will use, and if possible work directly with your team to implement the strategy. The more you and your team know the easier it is to monitor, manage, and ensure long-term results.
We often become coaches and advisers to the current marketing and business development teams. Other clients want to outsource the effort to us saving resources and lower costs of doing it all in-house.
What’s the plan & how much does it cost?
Initial review – no charge
That depends of course on the size of your organizations, its goals, and the resources it will require accomplishing those goals. Our services encompass everything digital but your company won’t need everything digital. The first step in any plan is to analyze what your company needs by analyzing current business and online strategies. Basic stuff. What is working? What is not? If not, why not? Do the strategies align? I can do this with a 30-60 minute phone call and some preliminary analysis of your website.
Preliminary analysis and implementation plan – cost depends on the complexity
We will interview who you designate, review the current website, social media, competitors, and online brand. Part of that analysis is a technical site audit. We will ask permission to monitor online social media accounts, review directory submissions, and Google or Bing Analytics if incorporated into your website.
Depending on the complexity of your business and the availability of your resources this can take 2-3 weeks.
A lot of work goes into the first phase and requires the full attention of one of our principles. We don’t outsource this part of the process. We ensure we understand your company’s goals and strategy. Since this part requires key resources we only proceed with this step after your approval. The finished product or deliverable becomes your company’s property. This is usually a decision point to continue by engaging our firm for implementation of the plan, not go forward, bring it in-house or even use another firm., That will be your decision. Business can change in 2-3 weeks as can priorities.
Analysis only – Depends on the number of pages.
We can contract for the analysis only. – Documents what we find that doesn’t align with your business strategy, technical issues with the website, social media, backlinks or brand issues. for small business and less complicated websites.
Analysis and detailed implementation plan – Depends on the complexity of the website and strategy
Plan for correcting all the issues found and recommendation for improving search engine optimization, social media presence, correcting technical errors, and developing off page digital marketing campaigns. This total is for the initial 4-week engagement to complete the detailed analysis and developing the implementation plan. Usually, less than 1/2 the benefit loaded cost of a full-time digital marketing expert.
Implementation – Depends on complexity and timeline.
At this stage, we do outsource some of the more mundane tasks to reliable sub-contractors. It is a per month fee because even with an all-out effort to correct any issues and implement strategies it takes time. Part of our services is to monitor results and make adjustments to the strategy as required. Although we use techniques to speed up the process some changes won’t have an impact for several weeks or even months. Google can take up to 90 days to update their servers with changes. We complete the technical corrections, directly listings, keyword campaigns, incorporating SEO techniques on existing pages prior to starting to incorporate other strategies.
Typically a company will see positive results within a few weeks due to error corrections, incorporating basic keyword strategies, and new directory listings. This is especially true of local businesses. You will receive a weekly report that documents the progress of the implementation and visitor analysis. This weekly update will serve both your team and ours to adjust strategies as necessary to ensure continued improvements.
Does it ever end?
Normally after 3-6 months, all the initial strategies will have been implemented. Depending on the initial plan there will be decision points to continue with more advanced strategies or manage the current strategies. The dynamics of web search are constantly changing. Google makes changes to how they search & index weekly and major changes monthly or less. Computers and other devices continually change, as do software applications utilized for searching the web. Whether we continue as your guide or you use inside resources your company will never be done with digital marketing. It won’t end.
Just in case you doubt the power of Google when it comes to search listen/watch this Webinar by the President of Wescat, Inc. for International Executive Resource Group, IERG. “Aligning your online and business strategies.” (You will want to skip over the intro)